With 2014 World Cup starting this week, I have soccer – or let’s use the global term, football – fever. A few of us here at SAS pulled some 2010 World Cup data into SAS Visual Analytics to see if any interesting findings jump out. The below correlation matrix is rich and deep; there are so many insights to be gleaned. But let me pull out one to note: that economic status is not an indicator for World Cup winners.
Check out the highlighted cross section of 2010 GDPs and 2010 winners. The relationship is weak. Affluence does not drive successful football leagues. All you need to play is a ball, a few people (or just yourself or yourself and a buddy) and something to position as goals. It makes you think about the natural essence of the sport. Not a lot of fluff. Straightforward.
Quick tip: darker color = higher correlation. The World Cup data came from The Guardian and the GDP data came from the World Bank’s public site. Attached is the data set.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll post more points (pardon the pun) from the matrix. Until then, what pops out at you as a significant correlation?